delights Jackson fans
Thousands of Michael Jackson fans in the US are braced for a British invasion ahead of this week's memorial service for the King of Pop.
More than 1.6 million fans registered for Tuesday's service were told whether they were among the lucky few to win a ticket for the event.
Celebrity gossip website TMZ.com, which first broke the news of the 50-year-old's death two weeks ago, declared: "The British are coming..." amid reports of a surge in airline ticket sales.
But a British Airways spokeswoman said that while flights from London to Los Angeles for the beginning of this week were "very busy" there were still seats available.
Police and city officials in Los Angeles warned all those without tickets to stay away from the Staples Centre and said as many as 700,000 people may try to reach the arena.
Assistant Police Chief Jim McDonnell said Jackson's family was planning a "private family function" at the Forest Lawn cemetery in the Hollywood Hills. No further details were available.
Urging fans without tickets to stay away, he told reporters: "We looked at other funerals around the world and different numbers that have come out for that.
"We've heard that for Elvis Presley's funeral there were about 75,000, for Princess Diana there were about 250,000, so you can estimate that for Michael Jackson there will be significant numbers that intend to come out.
"Whether they hopefully will take that advice that this is not the best place to be unless you have a ticket, we'll have to wait and see."
A spokesman for the Staples Centre said 8,750 names had been chosen in the draw, with each person receiving two tickets. They were notified by email on Sunday night. The odds of getting a ticket were about 1 in 183.
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